Woman with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer walks 20 miles to raise money for research.

Despite vomiting the night before and unable to eat, on Saturday 26th August 2023, Dr Susan Michaelis walked 20 miles from Horsham to Shoreham to help raise money for research. Research to obtain a specific treatment for a disease she was diagnosed with in 2013 and one few have heard of, Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer, the second most common type of breast cancer.
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In 2013, Dr Michaelis had a tiny red mark on her left breast. It was 1mm in size and she had no lump. A mammogram and ultrasound said all was fine and she had nothing to worry about. The reality was very different, a biopsy and MRI scan revealed she had Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer (ILC). Post-surgery pathology analysis confirmed it was 7cm, yet a mammogram saw nothing.

1,000 people a day globally are diagnosed with ILC and yet there is no specific treatment for this disease, despite the scientific community knowing for over 50 years it behaves very differently to the more common type of breast cancer, often called 'Ductal'.

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She was put on a hormone treatment not specifically designed for lobular but in 2016, the lobular cancer came back. They changed her treatment but in 2021 it spread to her spine. A final attempt was made with another hormone treatment but in 2023, it spread to her skin.

Dr Susan Michaelis with 'Fripp' at the end of her 20 mile walk for lobular breats cancer researchDr Susan Michaelis with 'Fripp' at the end of her 20 mile walk for lobular breats cancer research
Dr Susan Michaelis with 'Fripp' at the end of her 20 mile walk for lobular breats cancer research

To get a specific treatment, earlier this year, Susan set up the Lobular Moon Shot Project to help raise the UK£20 million needed by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, to fully understand the biology of the disease. Once this is established, a specific treatment can then be developed.

Susan's oncologist recently told her that she now had to go on to oral chemotherapy. Within a few days she was vomiting all night and had to temporarily abandon the treatment. She was still vomiting the night before her planned sponsored walk but she was determined to give it everything. Joined by 3 other ladies who have less advanced forms of lobular breast cancer, friends and supporters, she set off from Horsham Golf Club and headed down the Downs Link towards the coast. With stops at The Partridge, Mary's Cafe, The Cabin at Berretts Farm and the Churchside Cafe at St Botolph's Church, Susan and her fellow walkers reached the coast at 6.20pm. They were met by Angela and Nix and the famous and very naughty Bearded Collie called 'Fripp' at the Church of the Good Shepherd where tea and biscuits were given.

At the end of the walk Susan stated: "This morning I didn't know I could even get to the start of the walk, so to walk 20 miles is outstanding for me. 20 miles represents the UK£20 million we need. Nobody should be diagnosed with a disease in 2023 that does not have a specific treatment. I would urge people to support what I am trying to achieve, as you never know who will be next. It could be someone you know, someone you love or someowne you care about."

To learn more about Susan's walk or to watch a detailed documentary about lobular breast cancer visit the Lobular Moon Shot Project website.

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